During this period of global isolation, we collectively want to feel part of something greater than ourselves. We might look to the stars to understand what is happening. More than ever, we crave connection. This "new normal" has brought on challenges and anxieties, but it has also made way for a beautiful collaboration that we are thrilled to share.
Astrology is a cosmic language that helps us better understand ourselves and our potential. This universal language resonated with Sebastien Notre, a French artist residing in Milan, Italy. A few weeks ago, we "met" Sebastien after he discovered DOOZ online. He felt inspired by the brand and reached out to propose an artistic collaboration: a series of 12 handmade collages representing each zodiac sign.
Despite the physical distance and difficult times, we collaborated virtually to create some astrological inspiration. The collages explore identity through color and astro-symbolism, while incorporating the DOOZ Céleste Bags.
Originally, this collaboration was intended for digital use only, but after seeing Sebastien's vision come to life we became inspired to make something physical to spread this message of connection – a reminder that self-expression and art will never fall by the wayside. Sebastien scanned each collage and digitally printed a limited edition series. Each print is individually signed, titled, dated and numbered by the artist himself. As always, mixing and matching is encouraged – adorn your space with your own sign or rep your best friend's sign as a reminder that physical distance won't keep you apart!
We had a call with Sebastien to dive more into his creative process, inspirations, and his thoughts on astrology.
What's your zodiac sign?
I am an Aquarius.
How do you relate to your sign / astrology in general?
I believe in the zodiac, but I don't follow horoscopes. I'm more interested to see the common points between people of the same signs and connections between people of different signs. I find it fascinating that the addition of some signs make better alchemy than others. I'm also extremely fascinated by the moon and stars – I find them very calming.
What's your artistic process like?
My process is the same, whether I'm painting or collaging. First, I start by thinking about a concept, a story to tell. Then I imagine how to make that come to life. For me, technique is less important than your ideas. You will always find a way to express your ideas, no matter what tools or materials you have on hand.
What type of work do you enjoy doing the most?
To speak on collages, my favorite part is looking for the images and doing the visual research.
What / who inspires you?
I'm very inspired by design and architecture, which allow me to create a setting. One of my biggest inspirations in this field is Tony Duquette, who approached his work quite similarly to making collages – taking many elements (sometimes with nothing in common) and making them cohabitate to create a new story, particular by harmonious.
Any favorite music you listen to while you're creating?
I can jump from one artist to another. Anyone from John Maus to Cesaria Evora, Boiler Room compilations to country music!
When do you know when a piece is finished?
For collages it's quite easy to know when the piece is finished. When I get all of the conditions I'm looking for:
- Put light on the product
- Clean and minimal visual – never too rich, never too poor
- Always with an element of life, whether it's an antic drawing of an animal or a hand from a renaissance painting
- Something full of light and harmonious in colors, with elements who talk together and tell a story
The Dooz x Sebastien Notre prints represent the connection of two parts of the world, Italy and New York, both suffering tremendously from the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct Relief is a global "humanitarian aid organization with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies." In response to the coronavirus, the organization is providing essential supplies and medical equipment to healthcare workers in the U.S. and around the world.
The zodiac prints ($45) are available for pre-order here and will be shipped immediately upon their arrival from Milan, Italy. Given the current circumstances, shipment date is up in the air, but donations will be made immediately upon purchase.
Cover image by Valentin Hennequin